It has been my habit to go to Calke Abbey with a good friend for their food/gift fair on the last weekend before Christmas for several years now. I am not sure how many years, but it is a good eight or nine. It is a firm tradition for my friend and I to go, wander the gardens, buy fudge and then finish up at the garden centre down the road to see if there are any good plants on the 'rescue me' table.
After much talking and walking and a picnic lunch (the cold dank weather was not going to stop us). We then moved on to the second part of our tradition. We went on to the Ferrers Centre and the garden centre at Staunton Harold. We had a hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows and cake (very good cake) and perused the various craft shops. I nearly always buy something from the pottery in the corner, they always sell such wonderful things.
So whilst things are still difficult and staying safe still very much matters, it really mattered that we got to carry out our tradition this year. It felt normal, not words often used at the moment.